Al Capone


Al Capone

Attempts on Capone's life were never successful. He had an extensive spy network in Chicago, from newspaper boys to policemen, so that any plots were quickly discovered. Capone, on the other hand, was skillful at isolating and killing his enemies when they became too powerful. A typical Capone murder consisted of men renting an apartment across the street from the victim's residence and gunning him down when he stepped outside. The operations were quick and complete and Capone always had an alibi.

The Tribune headline after the St. Valentine's Day Massacre of 1929.

The Tribune headline after the St.
Valentine's Day Massacre of 1929.

Capone's most notorious killing was the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. On February 14, 1929, four Capone men entered a garage at 2122 N. Clark Street. The building was the main liquor headquarters of bootlegger George "Bugs" Moran's North Side gang. Because two of Capone's men were dressed as police, the seven men in the garage thought it was a police raid. As a result, they dropped their guns and put their hands against the wall. Using two shotguns and two machine guns, the Capone men fired more than 150 bullets into the victims. Six of the seven killed were members of Moran's gang; the seventh was an unlucky friend. Moran, probably the real target, was across the street when Capone's men arrived and stayed away when he saw the police uniforms. As usual, Capone had an alibi; he was in Florida during the massacre.

The Tribune headline after the St. Valentine's Day Massacre of 1929.

Capone masterminded the 1929 St. Valentine's Day
Massacre which left seven men dead, but was in
Florida when it happened. All but one of the victims
were members of rival "Bugs" Moran's gang.
(CHS ICHi-14406)

Although Capone ordered dozens of deaths and even killed with his own hands, he often treated people fairly and generously. He was equally known for his violent temper and for his strong sense of loyalty and honor. He was the first to open soup kitchens after the 1929 stock market crash and he ordered merchants to give clothes and food to the needy at his expense.

A line outside Capone's

A line outside Capone's "Free Lunch" restaurant,
a soup kitchen he ran during the Depression.
(CHS DN-93842)





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